Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

Signing up to Cyclescheme doesn’t mean you have to cycle to work everyday. Read on to find out more about how you can benefit from Cyclescheme.

There’s a common misunderstanding that signing up to your ‘cycle to work scheme’ means you have to cycle every single day and become a cycling pro. However, we’re all human at Cyclescheme and understand cycling in the torrential rain isn’t fun or commuting to your destination by bike isn’t always possible.   

We’re here to let you know it’s OK to be a casual cyclist and still be part of the Cyclescheme community. In fact, we’re so OK about it that we thought we write an article to support you in becoming a casual cyclist. Not a pro, not a world champion, but someone who hops on their bike when they feel like it. 

It’s OK to hop on your bike every now and then 

Now you know that becoming a part of Cyclescheme doesn’t mean you’ll be forced into becoming a first-class rider, we’re here to share our casual cycling tips.  

Many Cycleschemers are casual cyclists; their bikes might stay in the shed 5 days out of 7, they might choose to cycle in the summer, or they might mostly use their bike at weekends for leisure. But, you know what, any kind of cyclist (casual or not) should hold their head up high. Why? Because, even if you choose your bike over your car for a few journeys a month, you’ll still be benefiting your health and the environment. 

If the idea of being a casual cyclist is taking your fancy, here are some ideas about how you can work an ‘off-the-cuff bike ride’ into your weekly routine: 

  • Cycle to work when the weather is nice 

Cycling in the rain isn’t for all of us. However, cycling when the weather is sunny can be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Top that with happy hormones zooming around your body, and you’ll be in fair-weather-cycling-heaven. Cycling should be fun, so take the pressure off yourself when the weather is wet. Yet, when the sun is out, gain some health and environment benefits from hopping on your bike to work.  

  • Pop to your local corner store on your bike 

Ever wake up on a Saturday morning craving a cooked breakfast and realise you’ve run out of eggs, bacon or bread? These moments are perfect for jumping on your bike and popping to the shops to pick up a few essentials. You might burn a few more calories to warrant an extra slice of bacon too. 

  • Go for a bike ride, instead of a run 

Do you enjoy pounding the pavements at the weekend? Why not try switching up your fitness routine by getting on your bike, every now and then. Cycling is equally as good as running for your cardiovascular health and it’s great for building muscle and toning your lower body.  

  • Cycle with your family at weekends 

Family bike rides have always been popular, and since the coronavirus pandemic cycling is experiencing an even bigger boom. Finding active ways to have fun with your family is good for everyone’s health and overall happiness. If you’re not sure about where your nearest family bike trail is, Cycling UK has a handy list of 50 family-friendly bike routes to try. 

Ride with friends

  • Do the school run by bike 

A barrier between cycling to school with your child might be that they don’t own a bike or they’re a bit wobbly when riding. If you’re nodding to any of these, here are some tips for finding the right bike for your child and helping them become confident riders 

  • Go for a bike ride and a picnic with friends 

Cycling doesn’t have to just be about fitness and benefiting the environment. It can be for leisure and pleasure too. Make the most of pleasant afternoons and suggest a bike ride along a river, canal or cycle path, with friends. Take a picnic and stop half way to make an afternoon of it. 

Top tips if you DO want to cycle to work (no pressure) 

Now you know the pressure is off you might leave your bike in the shed this week. And, that’s OK.  However, if the weather is looking good enough for cycling next week, now’s the time to plan your commute to work. 

Here are our top tips for planning your cycling commute – wherever that may be: 

  1. Plan your route 

There’s nothing worse than hopping on your bike and feeling flustered and frustrated the entire journey. We recommend planning your route before you make it. CycleStreets Journey Planner is the ideal way to map out your route to make sure you’re prepared and can enjoy the experience. If you want more support, you can find further tips for planning your perfect cycling route here. 

Plan your route

  1. Pack your bag the night before 

This isn’t always possible if you decide on a spontaneous bike ride. However, if you know you’ll be commuting somewhere the next day – especially to work – it’s best to be prepared. As mentioned earlier, panniers are perfect for carrying laptops, lunchboxes, work attire, and any other essentials. Pack and organise the things you’ll need the night before, and in the morning you’ll feel ready and equipped to head off on your journey. 

  1. Check out the facilities at your destination 

Most offices, towns and train stations have improved their facilities for cycling commuters. For example, it’s likely there’ll be ample bike racks to park your bike, lockers for storage, and most offices will have shower facilities and changing rooms. If your employer isn’t adequately set up, have a chat to them as it’s in their interest to take feedback on board and better their amenities. 

Ready to be a casual Cycleschemer? 

Owning a bike is the first step to making changes to your health, fitness, wellbeing and supporting the environment. Being part of Cyclescheme makes owning a bike possible as you can buy any bike now and pay for it later. Remember, all it takes is one journey by bike to start gaining health and wellbeing benefits 

Interested in hearing about what other employee cycle-commutes are like? Head over to our ‘Over To You’ articles where Cyclescheme cyclists – pros and casual – tell us about their experiences with their bikes. 

Have we convinced you that it’s OK to join the Cyclescheme community and not cycle to work everyday? You can start your Cyclescheme certificate request today and you’ll be on the roads before you know it! 

Start your Cyclescheme certificate request